Female Provost to lead 400-year ceremony for first time

Kirking Scenes
Scenes from Kirking of the Council 2014

The oldest event in the history of Inverness – the Kirking of the Council - will for the first time be attended by a female Provost, Councillor Helen Carmichael.

The Highland Council is inviting members of the public, especially those who work in the public services to attend the annual Kirking of the Council Service on Sunday 13 September 2015. A parade begins from the High Street at 10.45am. The service in the Old High Church, which is open to all, begins at 11.15am.

The procession will be led by the pipes and drums of the Royal British Legion – Inverness Branch, and City of Inverness Youth Pipe Band along with uniformed youth groups.

Provost of Inverness and Area Councillor Carmichael said: “In times of constant change it’s fitting that the City’s councillors and officials take time to reflect on their public service and the Kirking of the Council is an opportunity to do that once a year. It is a great honour for me to follow in the footsteps of my previous fellow Provosts as the first woman Provost to take part in the Kirking.

“The Kirking is not just for public sector servants but is also an attractive spectacle and occasion for locals and visitors to witness.”

Pupils and Head Teachers from some of the city’s primary and secondary schools, together with Inverness Highland Councillors in traditional red robes and Council officials will join the procession from the Town House to be greeted at the Old High Kirk by the Reverend Peter Nimmo, Minister of Old High St Stephen’s Church. Representatives from the University of the Highlands and Islands will also be participating in the ceremony.

Rev Nimmo, minister of Old High St Stephen's, will preach at the service. He said:

“As always, there is an open invitation to everyone in the community to join us in the church for the Kirking service, especially all who work in public service or involved in politics in any way. We will be highlighting the role of volunteers, and the importance of neighbourliness. With the current refugee crisis, I'll be talking about Christ's response to the question. 'Who is my neighbour?'”

Onlookers can expect to see a 200-strong colourful procession make its way from the Town House to the Old High Kirk and its return after the Kirking Service.

The Kirking is a significant annual event in the life of the City of Inverness, rooted in 400 years of tradition. It is held on the second Sunday in September each year and is an important date in the calendar of events for the City of Inverness. It is an occasion that is highly valued by the Council, the Kirk, and the local community.

7 Sep 2015
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